I think I could fill the pages of the Letters section rebutting Ed Sugan’s latest take on national politics [“Rigging the Game,” Letters, January 27], but I’ll focus on his take on voting access.
This is what Mr. Surgan states: “Democrats want to continue to argue that states are suppressing the vote of minority communities. I am perplexed by this claim. If the same voting rules apply to every citizen, how is one party discriminated against?”
The case to make against voter suppression is robust. If anyone wants to steep themselves in the many particulars, I’d suggest reading election law attorney Marc Elias, or several studies conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice.
In a study that catalogs many ways voter suppression operates, the Brennan Center for Justice has found that voter suppression laws across the country are significantly disadvantaging communities of color.
“Over the past decade, scholars have studied myriad ways in which certain state voting rules make participation disproportionately difficult for Americans of color — including strict voter ID laws, lines faced on Election Day, and other facets of our election system.”
Here’s an example of maladministration from an NPR report:
“The metro Atlanta area has been hit particularly hard. The nine counties — Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, DeKalb, Cobb, Hall, Cherokee, Henry and Clayton — have nearly half of the state’s active voters but only 38 percent of the polling places, according to the analysis.”
It’s not just about voting laws and rules that suppress access but the administration of the electoral process. Another slew of laws will take decision-making from our county boards of election and place it with partisan legislatures. Don’t like the results? Let someone else decide. It’s ominous. Small wonder election workers across the country are retiring in droves.
This country can make voting harder or easier. In the world’s greatest democracy, I vote for making it easier.
Anthony is a former chair of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee — Ed.
One fine body…